Clay has always been a favourite medium of mine. My father, an art teacher, would sneak my brothers and I into the school on Saturdays to use the potters wheel and I was hooked. My passion to share clay with children began when I wrote and illustrated my first children picture book “Toffee” the Highland Cow.
I wished to mix art and storytelling in an interactive way. Having landed a bursary from the Scottish Arts Council for my storytelling art pack (which included a story book, a packet of modelling clay and a pop up castle) I took the workshops on tour, travelling all around the world. During a particular class in Brooklyn, NY, I was deeply moved by the children’s imaginations, their unique and inventive creations. Their excitement was infectious and their interpretation of my little book charter “Toffee” just melted me. I knew from then on, I was destined to bring nature and art into children’s lives.
Yesterday we made clay squirrels using soft pine cones for their bushy tails.
I felt that same feeling as I did back in Brooklyn watching the childrens’ imaginations soar as they created their little squirrels -they too, melted my heart.
Each creation unique and brilliant – you can’t but smile at this little squirrel.
One child knew where to find acorns so we all ran to Oak tree to gather the fallen acorns for our squirrels to munch on.
Another child made a little acorn basket for her squirrel and another made a tree and a Bald Eagle for a friend.
Nature nurtures me, inspires me and fuels my creativity. Art allows me to express my inner most feelings. Having the opportunity to share both nature and art with children is the most beautiful and rewarding job anyone could wish for.
I feel truly blessed and wish to share these simple art activities with you. How to make the Clay Squirrel and other fun nature-based art activities can be found in my new book: Actively Connecting Children with Nature – Nurturing Your Child’s Creative Intelligence. Co-written by the wonderful Christine Collins. Available mid September: www.connecting kids2nature.com
Wishing you a beautiful and creative week ahead, love and peace Marghanita xxby